A winter wonderland greeted visitors to Fontwell racecourse at the weekend for the first-ever Magic of Christmas event.
Crowds of 25,000 across the two days experienced the festive atmosphere which included the chance to meet Santa, who proved in high demand along with his team of elves and helpers who kept visitors entertained.
Children excitedly made sure their festive wish lists were fully prepared, while mums and dads were busy gaining plenty of ideas from the range of arts, craft and toy stalls which were on offer.
There was plenty of fun and games for all the family with an ice-skating rink, carousel and big wheel from a Victorian-style fairground proving popular.
Other attractions included an elves’ workshop and festive lights to create an added bit of magic as we move ever-closer to the Christmas period.
Youngsters also met two very special visitors to Fontwell, reindeers Blitzen and Prancer, who proved some of the stars of the show at the event organised by the Observer’s parent group, Johnston Press.
Commenting on their visit, the Maple family from Emsworth appeared to be entering into the seasonal spirit.
Mum Lynne said: “Our children Neal and Adam wanted to come and see the reindeer straight away. They think they are really nice and are getting excited about Christmas now.”
Offering a special message to children encouraging them to make sure they’re good before next month, Santa said: “I’m here at Fontwell giving boys and girls special decorations to hang on their Christmas trees, so when I visit on Christmas Eve I’ll know they have been here at Fontwell.
“I’ve got Blitzen and Prancer here who are looking forward to the big day.
“Please remember that mince pie and carrots go down well with us, if you don’t mind! Also, don’t forget to be nice to each other as the nicest thing you can do is make someone happy this Christmas.”